Skip to main content

Charles Barkley Reveals The 3 Players He'd Consider At No. 1

Charles Barkley speaking during halftime of an NBA game.

PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 03: NBA legend Charles Barkley speaks during half time of the NBA game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena on March 3, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Though he's currently focused on a riveting NBA postseason with no clear championship front-runner, Charles Barkley peaked ahead to the 2022 NBA Draft.

While Barkley represents one of four Auburn players to draw a top-five selection, Jabari Smith Jr. could become the program's first player to garner the No. 1 selection. However, the 18-year-old forward has some competition.

Per Nathan King of 247Sports, Barkley identified three players he'd consider if holding the top draft spot while attending the 2022 Regions Tradition celebrity golf event on Wednesday.

"I think (Paolo) Banchero and Jabari are going to be able to play right away because of their body type," Barkley said. "That kid Chet Holmgren is a terrific player, but he’s probably 30-40 pounds from making a difference in the NBA. All three are worthy of the No. 1 pick, but I think it depends on what situation you’re in when the lottery plays out."

All three big men possess considerable scoring upside, but there's no runaway favorite for the first selection on June 23.

The Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic, and Detroit Pistons have the best odds of winning the draft lottery, which takes place next Tuesday night.